New guidance to help trusts learn from deaths

Understanding that families’ experiences and insights are a valuable source of learning, the NHS has published guidance to help trusts work with bereaved families and carers.

The Care Quality Commission recently stressed that families and carers should be treated as equal partners to identify opportunities for improvement, prompting NHS England to work with over 70 families and carers on the guidance, which will provide advice to hospitals, mental health and community trusts on how to involve families following the death of a loved one.

The new guidance calls on trusts to involve families throughout by providing bereavement support, signposting families to advice and advocacy support along with examples of how trusts are working with families and good practice guidance on specific subjects.

Professor Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England and executive director at NHS England, said: “My deep gratitude goes to every family member who has contributed in shaping this instrumental guidance. The families involved have shown huge commitment and a desire to help bring about improvements in the way trusts and families work together. Understanding the families’ perspective has helped us highlight some of the key considerations for trusts when working with families so we can have meaningful engagement and a consistent quality approach across England.”

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